Pagan prisoners allowed twig wands in cells

#1
HERE

The Scotsman said:
Pagan prisoners allowed twig wands in cells

Published Date: 11 May 2008
By Jenny Percival
Westminster Editor

PRISON officers have been ordered to allow Pagan prisoners to take twigs into their cells to use as magic wands.
The ruling has been announced as part of a prisons policy that requires Pagan prisoners to have the same rights as prisoners of other religions.

The new rules were drawn up with the help of the Pagan Federation, which advised the prison service on what equipment its members needed.

"We exist to assist members and to educate non-members on what it means to be a Pagan," said a spokesman.

The announcement was made by Justice Reform Minister Maria Eagle in a Parliamentary answer last week.

She said: "Prison service policy is to enable prisoners of different faith traditions, including Paganism, to practise their religion. Religious artefacts are allowed for relevant faiths within the constraints of good order and discipline.

"The religious artefacts for Pagan prisoners include a flexible twig for a wand."

Shadow prisons minister Edward Garnier said: "This sounds like an April Fool's Day joke. But there's genuine concern prisoners are taking the system for a ride. Prison governors should be discouraged from letting prisoners have sticks."

Bill Aitken, the Scottish Tory Justice spokesman, said: "This sounds like a wind-up. I've no doubt that some of them will be wanting to use their magic wands to magic the doors open. But given that Kenny MacAskill seems hell-bent on letting prisoners out early, they will hardly need to."

Conservative MP Andrew Turner, who uncovered the new ruling, added: "This strikes me as bizarre. A lot of people would be worried about equating Paganism with Christianity."

There are estimated to be one million Pagans in Britain – around 300 of whom are in prison. There are about 30,000 in Scotland.

A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service confirmed that the ruling applied north of the border. "In terms of the general principle, we allow people to practise their faith within the constraints of good order," said the spokesman.

Health boards allow Pagans in hospital to receive visits from celebrants of their faith. Pagan chaplains can offer bedside healing rituals, meditation and special prayers. They may also bring in healing stones and sufferers may be allowed to have small gods and goddesses by their bedsides.

However, the Pagans have decided to tone down what are seen as the more exotic and striking forms of their worship and ritual, such as carrying flaming torches.

In 2006, St Andrews University decided – on equal rights grounds – to allocate an area for Pagan festivals and rituals.

But in return for allowing access to buildings and finding an outdoor space for festivals, the university banned on its premises incantations or spells that might be viewed as harmful to believers of other faiths.
They'll be allowed to sacrifice vegans next :roll: - mind you that doesn't seem too bad an idea ;)
 
#2
Is it really any more ludicrous than any of the other religions, hell, at least Paganism is actually European/British - Unlike certain Middle Eastern religions. Isn't that what everyone wants?
 
#3
Cool! I worship Thor - does that mean I can carry a Viking Warhammer around with me?

Purely for religious reasons, you understand and nothing to do with clubbing Neds like baby seals. Dear me no, perish the thought... :twisted:
 
#4
At least the flaming torches bit shows a shred of common sense; after all if everyone were allowed all their accoutrements then Sikhs would have to be provided with a ceremonial dagger!
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
So basically if I claim to follow bushido they will still take my Daisho- that katana and wakisashi- away from me? Religious persecution!!!!

P.S. Before anyone takes this seriously I am being cynical...
 
#6
I can see all the Rasta piping up next demanding their religious rights to smoke ganja in cells, except it’s probably already freely available.
 
#7
Handy place to keep a shank though....

Shouldn´t there be a pagan room where all their religious equipment could be stored?
 
#8
Sounds good to me, but I am biased.

I seem to remember Wican Padres with the US forces in Iraq.

There are a lot of us around and we're not all mad.....honest. :D
 
#9
I was thinking about starting my own religion where we worship a big beardie fairy who lives in the sky. Oh wait...
 
#11
PoisonDwarf said:
I was thinking about starting my own religion where we worship a big beardie fairy who lives in the sky. Oh wait...
Watch it there - next thing, you'll be insulting his pet, the holy bird ghost.
 
#12
I'm a Registered Jedi Knight according to the 2001 National Cencus. that means I can demand that I am able to use the 'Force' in any way. So if I was in the pokey, I can sit on my Jedi Stool and sing Jedi Mantras very loudly......

The problem is I don't know any. So I would just sing rude rugby songs..... and that very long one about 'Eskimo Nell', but someboy might object!!! :) :p
 
#13
"This cell door shouldn´t be locked"

"You are free to walk out"

"I´ve bought you some lemon Sheeeerbeeeeert"
 
#14
uncle_vanya said:
I'm a Registered Jedi Knight according to the 2001 National Cencus. that means I can demand that I am able to use the 'Force' in any way. So if I was in the pokey, I can sit on my Jedi Stool and sing Jedi Mantras very loudly......

The problem is I don't know any. So I would just sing rude rugby songs..... and that very long one about 'Eskimo Nell', but someboy might object!!! :) :p
"I am not the prisoner you're looking for...you want to open all the doors and let me out..." :meditate:
 
#15
Some interesting possibilities here: Get them to deliver virgins for sacrifice to your cell every night then complain the next morning that they're fakes and send them back, demanding fresh ones. Could be problematic rounding up enough of them that don't have faces like a prolapsed bulldog though.
 

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